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We take a LOT of meds! How do you manage it all??

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Dainty, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I just counted today and there are currently 20 medications and supplements that I carry around with me daily. Twenty! And more that I don't!

    Over the years I've worked out a system for organizing it all, but it's still constantly evolving. I use lots of tiny plastic bags and re-labeling. Managing meds is a project that never seems quite complete, and the consequences of failure are usually pretty dire.

    Don't even get me started on maintaining a current medications list. I'll laugh the house down, I swear.

    Does anyone else find this to be a significant issue in their lives? How do you deal with it?


    I'm thinking about starting a blog on the subject, if there's enough interest.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  2. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    You know those seven-day pill organizers? I have about 20 or so and I use one every day. Plus I have a box with all the pill bottles I need for sleep. Plus (because sometimes I like to tinker with dosages) I have some bottles that I label with a combination of filler and vitamin powders (ie a mixture that gives me 600 mcg biotin per 1/8 teaspoon). Those are in a drawer in the kitchen.

    I used to keep a diary of what I took every day. I had a basic list that I updated every week, and daily I would just have to note how what I took differed from the weekly list. But my brain hasn't even been up to that lately...

    I'm not sure if all this is in any way more wieldy than what you are already doing, but it seems to work alright for me.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @Dainty - I do what @aaron_c does - one seven-day pill organizer for each day - e.g., I take amino acids and thyroid med on an empty stomach, then after breakfast pills, then more aminos late morning, then after lunch pills, then after dinner, then before bed - plus a few loose ones lying around I take here and there - HCL with meals, potassium as needed and so on. I take only one or 2 meds and the rest are supps - over 30 of them! It's ridiculous. I would go crazy using tiny plastic bags. I fill up my containers every two days so I have a 2-day organized supply on hand. So I don't really need to carry anything around with me, apart from the pill organizer if I'm going to be out.

    I do have a list I keep on my computer for re-ordering - do an inventory once a month and calculate what I'll need for the next month - it is a project! but it works.
     
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  4. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    I tried the 7-day pill organizers but my morning pile of about 30 pills wouldn't fit... even spread out a bit without giving me more confusion.

    So, then I got a 7-days with a pull out per day, with 4 slots per each day. AM, lunch, supper, pm.

    AND I got a pile of tiny plastic containers.

    Each days AM container includes pills I need to take before eating
    My 30-ish pills go into the Tupperware container and it contains all the things I need to take after eating.
    Then the lunch, supper & pm ones get the ones that need multiple doses or evening doses.

    Thankfully for sleep I'm doing pretty good with just the one pill, otherwise I'd probably color-code my plastic containers.
     
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  5. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Attached Files:

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  6. Artstu

    Artstu Senior Member

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    I just wanted to say that I don't take anything apart from aspirin when I have a particularly bad headache.
     
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  7. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Thanks for explaining your system, Aarn. SOunds like you've got it down! Box of sleep meds, drawer of powders, and 20+ 'seven day pill organizers' to use one for each day. I love it!

    Filling up the containers every 2 days sounds like a great system, Mary. What sort of software do you use to keep that list on your computer?

    Oh Penny! The images in my head! I'm laughing, but my goodness. I'm glad you've figured out a system that works for you. That's a pretty smart evolution process you've got happening!

    Thanks for the link, 19_years. How long does each chart tend to last you before you run out of room? Do you record all meds taken, or just the ones that aren't in your regular routine?

    That's awesome, Artsu! Many of us would love to be able to go that minimalist without dire consequences. If that works for you, rock on!
     
  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    It's WordPerfect - I used to use it as a legal secretary (I detest Word! It's something I like to rant about from time to time if people are willing to listen :sluggish::rolleyes:) Anyways, it's WordPerfect's version of a spreadsheet sort of - it's just a document that has a table on it, not really a spreadsheet. I'm sure Word (hah! :p) could do something similar. Or if you use Excel, a real spreadsheet, that would work. Or you could just make a list. I like having the boxes because I can input how much to order, item no., any info like that. I'll print it out each month and then go through my bag o' pills and fill it in and order.
     
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  9. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I record all meds taken. I want to be able to go back in time and look at the exact medications I was taking on any particular day, and also see when I started/stopped a medication. I have multiple pain issues plus I'm treating mild hypertension. I found that a diuretic reduced the pain of erythromelalgia and that quetiapine (a med for sleep) also decreased this pain. When I take a pain medication that is prn, I note which pain problem it is for (erythromelalgia, back pain, neck pain, etc. I put an "E" or a "B" or an "N" right above the day of the month. If there were multiple pain issues, there are multiple letters.

    Recording all meds taken has also been very valuable in troubleshooting side effects. A blood pressure med (losartan) caused horrible constipation, which no one believed. I do take a lot of other constipating meds every day, so adding losartan really messed things up badly in my colon.

    That particular chart can accommodate 6 to 24 medications, depending on how often you're taking each medication. I have the top four lines reserved for Vicodin, since I might take it up to four times a day. Lyrica is just once per day, period, so it just gets one line. Atenolol has two lines, one for 12.5 mg and one for 25mg.

    If I need to add more medications and I've run out of room, I just grab another sheet (or part of one) and tape it BELOW the first sheet. At the end of the month, I can fold the bottom half under, so it all fits neatly into a pile that is 8.5" by 11". I have run out of room sometimes, so it's not as challenging as it looks to just keep adding more sheets.
     
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  10. ghosalb

    ghosalb Senior Member

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    If I was in this situation......I would work on figuring out how to reduce the number of supplement/medicines first. For me, except for melatonin, everything else was a total waste of money.
     
  11. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    I don't think any of us particularly enjoy spending our precious time, money, and energy on these supplements/medications, ghosalb. Thus, those who do tend to be folks who see a tangible difference with each and every one of them, or else they cease taking it after a brief experiment.

    That's the way it is with me at least, and many others I know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  12. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing, 19_years. I'll probably adopt some of this system too!
     
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    I use Borin-Halbich 3-To-Go Pill Boxes. Outside size 3 5/8 x 2 3/8 x 1. I have 5 of these and use one a day. I fill as many as I am able to. Some days I only have enough oomph to fill two. I have them in 5 different colors. I also have a regular 7 day pillbox for my sleep meds.

    When I was much sicker than I am now, I'd used a marker pen, and write on the supplement bottle caps to remind me how many to take, and when to take them. So, for example, if I took 1 in the morning, zero at noon, and 1 in the evening I'd write "1,0,1." When the bottle ran out, I'd put the old cap onto the new bottle so I didn't have to redo the instructions.

    The last time I bought one I could no longer find an online retailer that sells them, so I went directly to the manufacturer's site (Borin-Halbich).
     
  14. Groggy Doggy

    Groggy Doggy Senior Member

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